More than Skills: Promoting MFL leaning in depth and width in England and China.

15th January 2020 : 14:00 - 15:30

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Subject Pedagogy

Speaker: Man Shi (Emma), Beijing Normal University

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room E

Convener: Ian Thompson

Seminar Abstract


Promoting deep learning has recently drawn attention in several school subjects, including modern foreign language (MFL). Yet issues such as what deep MFL learning means and what needs to be done towards this purpose are worth exploring and have provoked much recent discussion. In this research seminar I will first propose one possible interpretation of deep learning in MFL in the view of the core competency education framework of China and the pedagogical suggestions provided by the China National English Curriculum Standards for Secondary Schools (2017). Then I will analyse the factors that may facilitate or hinder deep MFL learning through a comparison of the curricula and teachers’ design and practices of classroom tasks and activities in England and China. Lastly, I will reflect on the Chinese experiences and lessons from endeavours to reform English language education in China over the last few decades and hope in turn to bring insights for MFL teaching and learning in England.


About the Speaker


Man Shi (Emma) is an EFL lecturer at Beijing Normal University and has acted as academic secretary of China National English Curriculum Standards Revising Group since 2007. Her research interests are in English curriculum reform and teacher education. During her Master’s study, she conducted research examining the influence of the 8th curriculum reform on classroom grammar teaching. Her PhD research focuses on the pedagogical suggestion of the new version of English curriculum standards of China, studying its influence on teachers’ classroom practice. Currently, she is visiting the Department of Education of the University of Oxford with funding from the China Scholarship Council (CSC).